Lottery at the Gas Pump

Here in North Carolina, one of the few states to offer the lottery’s Play at the Pump, we have been enjoying the convenience of this technology for quite a while. In fact, the purchaser of one of the largest pay-outs in Carolina Cash 5’s history purchased her ticket at the gas pump! CS News reports, “Play at the Pump … provides an easy-to-use interface for customers to simply swipe their debit card at the gas pump, follow a few prompts and get their Quick Pick numbers delivered on their smartphone.”

Many people may not know that Gilbarco Veeder-Root offers this with our Passport® point of sale system! Watch here as our Passport® Product Manager walks through a lottery ticket purchase at the pump.

Additional Resources:

 

 

When Should I Invest in Fuel Dispensers?

As retailers we understand that the next revenue generating idea can mean the difference between famine or feast. For c-store retail operations in particular, where fueling technology is the heart of the business, deciding whether to invest in state of the art dispensers with cutting edge bells and whistles can be confusing and overwhelming.

Let us simplify this process for you! Watch as our dispenser expert, Paul Kaper, Senior Marketing Manager, Retail, guides you through simplified steps for considering a new dispenser purchase. He presents real-life examples alongside pro’s and con’s.

4 Keys to a Successful Loyalty Program

Kevin BaileyKevin Bailey, Director of Point of Sale

Loyalty programs can boost C-store marketing efforts but as more retailers adopt, more is learned about their implementation. Frequently the end customer experience doesn’t always match the intended outcome – with every success, there are loyalty initiatives that miss the mark.

Successful loyalty programs must include these fundamentals elements:

  • Use Persona Segmentation To Differentiate And Target Messages
    The ability to consolidate consumer data, identify meaningful insights that address not just demographic differences but different motivations of your consumers is fundamental to loyalty program success.A testing a learning approach based on consumer segment hypothesis is often required.  Get to know your customer base and how needs may change based on user persona or time of day.  To the end consumer the message must feel relevant and personalized.
  • Ability To Drive Positive Behavior Change
    Loyalty programs began with this goal in mind and it is still vital. The ability to influence and track positive behavior change has expanded vastly with the proliferation of available customer data via digital channels. C-Store retailers must deliver a fair exchange of value for customer’s loyalty and provides a foundation for building relationships beyond one time transactions.
  • Rewards Must Be Relevant
    Best practice loyalty efforts start by knowing your customer base beyond transactions to motivations, lifestyle and ultimately who they are and what they value. Starting from customer insight enables rewards that are relevant and have the ability to inspire. Integrating loyalty into point-of-sale systems provides the ability to reward the customer’s spend with real-time connectivity.  Returning a benefit straight to the customer. Retailers can automatically update balances to deliver the instant gratification and recognition consumers particularly millennials crave for using the program.
  • Need To Recognize And Reward Beyond Transactions
    Loyalty programs that simply recognize transactions appear very one-sided, customers feel they are valued solely for profit. This approach limits the opportunity to build an emotional connection to the brand or individual store location.  Limiting the long term potential of the relationship.  An emotional connection is required to build customer devotion.  Devoted customers are likely to recommend a store location or product to others, engage with your social media outlets and be the most receptive to future offers.

A result of a good loyalty programs is that the end consumer receives rewards that are tailored to their needs, feel within reach and received at the right time. Versus driving loyalty via better values for the shopper which at the end of the day is only slightly more effective than a traditional paper coupon.

Gilbarco Impulse™ and Passport® solutions are tools that can be used to develop, manage, and implement best in class loyalty solutions for C-Stores.

Rise of Mobile Payment

Kevin BaileyKevin Bailey, Director of Point of Sale

The payment world is at the precipice of adopting a groundbreaking technology which, will permanently alter the way people use mobile devices to interact with their daily environment. NFC (Near Field Communication) is a short range read and write wireless communication protocol.

First conceived in 2004 by Philips and Sony, NFC allows devices to communicate with each other and exchange data at close range (approximately four centimeters) by coming into proximity contact with one another. A NFC enabled mobile phone can be used to emulate a configurable, contactless smart card to establish a connection with compatible devices or interfaces. A simple tap allows users to pay at contactless terminals, or turn ads into interactive multimedia experiences.

NFC has faced a tough road to widespread commercialization. Adding new wireless technology into mobile devices is not easy—requiring designers to address both physical design as well as software compatibility. Further, there are ecosystem development dependencies across a complex and dynamic value chain ranging from hardware components, standards bodies and IP stakeholders, to network operators to work out.

Even wireless technologies that are nearly ubiquitous today faced a long and uncertain uphill battle to gain traction in the US.

Wi-Fi, a wireless feature common in nearly all smartphones, was first conceived of in 1985 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened several bands of wireless spectrum for use without a government license. Used initially to connect cash registers, it wasn’t until 1997 that participating vendors finally agreed on a set of basic specifications for Wi-Fi. It took until around 2006 for wireless carriers to be assured that the breadth of mobile content available to consumption both in and out of the home was sufficient enough for them to take the handcuffs off Wi-Fi enabled devices. Once devices with Wi-Fi were allowed to be on the network adoption became widespread.

Bluetooth, commonly used today in mobile phones also faced hurdles in being widely adopted. Though Bluetooth was initially conceived in 1998, concerns over interoperability and identifying a killer application for mobile phones hampered its adoption. It wasn’t until 2004, that handset manufacturers began to incorporate Bluetooth into high end phone designs. Adoption continued to grow over the next four years bolstered by a complimentary multi-billion dollar mobile device companion products business.

Although facing many of the same early adoption issues as other wireless technologies NFC is disruptive to existing business ecosystems making its move to the consumer mainstream even more complex than either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Mobile device handset makers, software companies, banks, traditional credit card brands, and wireless carriers are all vying to control digital payments made with the wave of a phone. After years of technology and industry trials, the pieces required to make NFC a reality for the US masses are beginning to fall into place. (Gilbarco’s Passport® Point of Sale System currently supports NFC payments.)

Significant hurdles such as device interoperability, contactless terminal deployment driven by EMVCo (Europay, Mastercard, Visa or EMV) rollout, and overall business model complications have been overcome paving the way for the NFC to take off. Industry analyst IHS predicts that by EOY 2015 there will be over 750 million NFC enabled devices in the market.

The market will see an attempt of various stakeholders to grab consumers’ attention and get their applications and payment instruments into mobile devices. The rate of consumer adoption and ability to secure consumer market share on a particular application will ultimately determine the winners in the NFC marathon.

The options are growing with more introductions every day – Apple Pay™, Android Pay™, the soon-to-be-released Samsung Pay, and more. Understanding your consumers’ desired payment needs is critical, so take the time to run research whether it’s an informal poll or a 3rd party customer study. Find out your customers’ preferences and make sure that your POS system has an easy, cost-effective path to upgrading your stores. The good news for Passport® users, it already accepts NFC today!

Where Does the Fraud Go Post EMV?

Luke GrantLuke Grant, Product Manager, Payment

As our industry continues to roll out EMV chip card technology, fraud at the c-store will continue to decline due to the benefits of EMV in combating card-present counterfeit fraud. As this happens, fraudsters will likely shift their focus to other low hanging fruit, such as online or e-commerce fraud where it’s more difficult to verify the identity of the person making the transaction.  This is generally what other markets around the world have experienced after fully adopting EMV. Although e-commerce doesn’t play a big role in today’s c-store, I thought it might be helpful to touch briefly on how the payments industry is looking to address a potential rise in e-commerce or card-not-present (CNP) fraud.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Commerce Department, e-commerce sales topped $300 Billion in 2014 and are continuing to account for a larger percentage of overall retail sales. As e-commerce continues to grow, we would expect to see a corresponding rise in e-commerce fraud.  However, as we saw in other countries, the implementation of EMV can cause e-commerce fraud to spike even more due to the door closing on card-present fraud. In the Canada, for example, in the years after EMV was implemented (2008-2013) fraud related to counterfeit and lost/stolen cards decreased by 58%, whereas CNP fraud rose by 133% according to an Aite report.

Quite a few technologies exist to aid in authentication for CNP transactions, such as one-time use passwords, secret questions, device authentication tools and even biometrics like fingerprints and facial recognition. These technologies vary in terms of their effectiveness, their impact on the consumer’s experience, and the cost to integrate them into the payment process, which can impact adoption by merchants and processors.  In April 2015 the EMV Migration Forum published a whitepaper that covered current best practices for securing CNP transactions. In addition to the authentication methods mentioned above, the whitepaper describes three additional approaches to curbing CNP fraud.

  • Fraud Reduction Tools – When a transaction is performed, all of the data associated with that transaction (consumer, payment method, products ordered, etc.) can be analyzed to evaluate the risk that the transaction is fraudulent.  A merchant or payment processor can use this risk scoring to decide whether to approve a transaction.
  • 3-D Secure– This is a standard communication protocol supported by the card brands that merchants and issuers can integrate to for better cardholder authentication.  It primarily incorporates the use of passwords that the consumer must provide to proceed with a transaction.
  • Tokenization – This involves replacing the card holders account number with a different number that has no value for fraudsters.  The tokens can either come from an acquirer after a transaction is completed and stored by the merchant, or presented with the transaction as it is with Apple Pay.

Overall, most stakeholders in the payment industry agree that there is no “silver bullet” for eliminating fraud, but instead merchants and processors need to deploy a variety of these tools to increase payment security.  For retail petroleum operators, the near-term focus should continue to be on securing card-present transactions through the rollout of EMV, although by learning about these additional tools you can begin preparing for the future as more and more transactions are completed without a physical card.

Additional Information:

For additional resources on the EMV migration to the US and its impact on our industry, please see:

  1. Gilbarco’s EMV informational web-page
  2. Previous Gilbarco blog posts on EMV:
    1. September 2011 – VISA announces EMV roadmap to the United States
    2. February 2012 – Another “Chip” Falls – MasterCard Follows Visa’s EMV Lead
    3. December 2012 – EMV Migration to the U.S. – What Convenience Store Retailers Need to Know
    4. March 2014 – Creating an ROI to the EMV Migration
    5. May 2014 – EMV – The Horse is Out of the Barn
    6. August 2014 – Broad Retail Moving to EMV in the U.S.
    7. September 2014 – Recent Data Breaches Highlight the Need for EMV
    8. November 2014 – Fraud at the Pump – How EMV Can Eliminate “Pump and Dump” Schemes
    9. January 2015 – EMV Made Easy – How the Consumer Experience Will Change
    10. March 2015 – Have My Chip – Now Where’s My PIN?
    11. April 2015 – EMV Liability Shift Dates Standing Firm
    12. May 2015 – Credit Card Fraud and EMV in the News
  3. Product Opportunities to create an ROI from the EMV Migration
  4. EMV Migration Forum – Knowledge Center